What do China, Russia and the EU think of Kosovo’s independence

What do China, Russia and the EU think of Kosovo's independence

There are many nations that do not recognize Kosovo's independence: here are what they are and why. Marco Orioles's article

Kosovo is returning to international prominence due to clashes with the Serbian minority who protested the new provisions on car number plates and identity documents which from now on, instead of by the Serbian authorities, will have to be issued by the institutions of Pristina.

But it is since 2008 that Kosovo has been at the center of an international dispute linked to the recognition of its independence. Independence which, at the moment, only about half of the countries of the world have recognized.

To orient ourselves in the web of international relations of the new state, exploring the reasons behind which many nations have hidden to justify the lack of recognition of the independence of Kosovo, we draw on a still current report of our Ministry of Defense signed by Rodolfo Bastianelli and entitled " Who said no to Kosovo's independence ".


In Europe, the most conspicuous no was that of Russia, for reasons that do not concern only the common Slavic-Orthodox belonging.

"Moscow", the report reads, "believes that the independence of Kosovo not only violates the principles of international law, but can also set a precedent for other similar situations".

Expressed at the time by Foreign Minister Lavrov, Russia's fear is that of a "domino effect on separatist demands of other nationalities", including those found within its territory such as Chechnya.

Furthermore, at the time of the proclamation of independence of Kosovo, Moscow reminded the West that a scenario not unlike the Kosovar one exists in Georgia, where Abkhazia and South Ossetia have long claimed their secession from Tbilisi relying on the support offered by Moscow. .

"It is no coincidence that", observes Bastianelli in this regard, "shortly after the proclamation of Kosovar independence, the Duma approved a motion in which it reaffirms how Kosovo is a precedent and that Russia should proceed with the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should the Georgian government decide to take back control of these territories by force ”.

EU skeptics

In the diversified framework of the positions of the EU countries, the no of Spain, Romania, Cyprus and Greece stand out.

"Madrid", reads the report, "fears that Kosovo may favor not (only) the independence aspirations of Catalonia but the far more dangerous ones of the Basque provinces, where the local government has long been pressing for an autonomist project that … would constitute the first step towards full independence of the region ”.

For its part, Bastianelli points out, “Bucharest must face the problem of the Hungarian minority within its borders. Concentrated for the most part in Transylvania and strongly discriminated against in the years of Ceausescu, the Hungarian population … aims to obtain a wider autonomy, so much so that some politicians have come to wish … the creation of an autonomous Magyar region corresponding to the borders of the existing one until 1968 ".

The fears of Slovakia are similar, where at least 7% of the population is Hungarian. Justifying his no to the independence of Kosovo, then Prime Minister Robert Fico compared it "to the Munich agreement of 1938 in which Slovakia was stolen from the southern region with a Hungarian majority".

A very special case in the EU is that of Cyprus. Here the government "justified its no by stating that the independence of Kosovo represents a factor of tension in international relations". But, it is written in the report, "Nicosia's decision was taken above all in order not to create a precedent that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus could have supported".

Very particular is the case of Greece whose no has been linked to tense relations, albeit in the process of improvement with Tirana. Here the criticality is twofold: on the one hand there are the accusations of discrimination against the Greek minority present in Albania that many times in the past the Greek government addressed to the Albanian one and on the other, writes Bastianelli, the "request for compensation made by the descendants of the Albanian population residing in Greece until the Second World War and then expelled by the Hellenic authorities ”.

China's no

Beijing justified its opposition with the fear that Kosovar independence could "destabilize the Balkan region and jeopardize the attempt to rebuild a multi-ethnic society".

But behind the position of the Chinese government one can see above all the desire to avoid creating "a precedent with Kosovo that in the future could be applied to regions where the autonomist thrusts are strongest, such as Tibet, Xinjiang and, above all, Taiwan" .

To irritate the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, there was the fact that Taiwan has expressed itself in favor of recognition by invoking a principle, that of the self-determination of peoples, established by the United Nations Charter: a position to which the Chinese government has replied by supporting that Taipei has no right to comment on the matter as it is a Chinese province.

Asian countries

The no of the most populous Muslim country on the planet, Indonesia, aroused a certain outcry, despite the common religious affiliation with the Kosovars.

The Indonesian government has not declared itself in favor of the recognition, observes the author of the report, "considering the issue an ethnic and not a religious problem, a prudent attitude also dictated by the presence of secessionist movements in the Aceh region and in the Irian Jaya" .

A denial was also expressed by India despite the fear of angering Muslim nations. Dehli's no is linked to the need not to “offer space for the secessionist aspirations of Kashmir and those of the other movements present in the north-eastern areas of the country”.

The position of the Philippines is similar in nature, mindful of the efforts made to face the attacks of Muslim separatists in the Mindanao archipelago.

Countries of the former Soviet space

The reactions of the states of the Caucasus area, which for some time have been facing separatist tendencies within their own borders, have been completely similar to the Russian ones.

The most convinced niet came from Azerbaijan in the light of the Nagorno Karabach issue, the Armenian-majority enclave that over thirty years ago declared its secession, causing a conflict that is still unresolved.

It is for this reason that Azerbaijan considered Pristina's unilateral declaration contrary to international law.

"Of a negative opinion", the report continues, "were also the reactions of Georgia, which expressed its opposition not to exacerbate the already difficult relations with Moscow, and of Moldova, where there are secessionist forces in the Russian-speaking region of Transnistria" .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/riconoscimento-indipendenza-kosovo/ on Fri, 12 Aug 2022 05:18:19 +0000.